Trials show insect trap colour can improve efficiency

The colour of insect traps can greatly impact on their effectiveness, according to trials by Belgian biocontrols supplier Biobest.

Trials it conducted in glasshouses in Almeria, southern Spain, showed "spectacular" differences, it said. The numbers of the tomato pest Tuta absoluta caught on black sticky traps were eight times higher than with yellow sticky traps, and 40 times higher than with blue sticky traps, it found.

Biobest Spain technical representative Rocio Lopez said another advantage to black sticky traps is that, unlike yellow ones, they do not attract the predatory mirid bug Nesidiocoris tenuis.

Biobest Spain general manager Juan-Luis Perez Calvo explained the bug's role. "Nesidiocoris, especially when used in the tomato nursery, helps a lot to keep Tuta populations low. Nevertheless, early in the season, the Nesidiocoris army is often not yet at full battle strength and an extra tool to control Tuta is required. A smart trapping strategy can contribute the extra level of biocontrol that a grower needs."

A native of South America, Tuta absoluta was first reported in the UK in 2009 on imported tomatoes.

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